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J.D.B. News Letter

December 9, 1928
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Jewish Health Problems By Our London Correspondent

A large number of Jewish medical men and others interested in the work of the Jewish Health Organization of Great Britain, which is affiliated with the World Union Oze, were present at the fourth annual meeting of the Organization held at Jews’ College, Dr. Redcliffe S. Salaman, the president, being in the chair. Referring to the fact that this was the fourth anniversary of the Organization, Dr. Salaman said that though it was still young, it was growing rapidly and it was healthy. The first budget amounted to £500. Now it was £1,700.

Dr. Salaman discussed Dr. M. Sourasky’s research work into visual defect among Jewish children, stressing its great value in indicating that the Jews have a racial failing in the matter of eyes and that the Talmud Torahs, which had been blamed for this, do not make matters worse.

Dr. Salaman also spoke of the importance of the intelligence tests which had been conducted by the Organization and had proved that the Jewish child was not of a lower intelligence than the non-Jewish child, but on the contrary was of a higher intelligence. The third point was the important cancer investigation which had been conducted by Dr. A. Sourasky, and which had shown that cancer has no respect for race and that Jews are neither immune nor specially susceptible to cancer. This was very important in having brought out the value of the Jewish purity laws. There was also the question of school supervision which the Council considered so important that they were going to appoint a permanent man for the work. He also emphasized the great value of the child guidance clinic which they had established.

A. H. Levy, the Chairman of the Organization, said that the report had been shown to outsiders who had been greatly impressed by the amount of scientific work which had been done voluntarily by busy medical practitioners. Mr. Levy paid a tribute to Dr. Sourasky’s paper on visual defects among Jewish children. It had been well done, he said, and had shown that the Talmud Torahs could cheerfully go on.

Dr. L. Mandel, the Treasurer, pointed out the importance of the work of the Organization to the Jewish community and urged that they should give it a greater amount of financial support to continue their work.

Dr. M. Schwarzman, Vice-Chairman, dwelt on the place of the Jewish Health Organization in the life of the Jewish Community and in relation to the Oze World Union, of which he had been one of the founders.

The Haham, Dr. Moses Gaster, paid a great tribute to the Jewish medical men who gave up so much of their time without remuneration to help to establish a sound body for the Jewish community. He was proud of their numbers and the great work they were doing. In his time the number of Jewish doctors in England could be counted on one hand, and now there was this large body giving their time and leisure so idealistically to preserve the health of the Jewish people.

Dr. A. Eicholz, Chief Inspector of Health to the Ministry of Education, paid a tribute to the work of the Organization’s child guidance clinic, which was the first in this country. It had done a great work, he said, and had brought glory to the Jews outside the community. It was referred to at scientific and education congresses, and it was a valuable creation in the life of the Jewish community of the country. He mentioned the forthcoming anthropological investigation, and said that he had faith in the strength of the Jewish germ just as he had had faith in the Jewish intelligence in the intelligence tests.

Sir Meyer A. Spielman praised the work of the Jewish Health Organization. In comparison with the work done and the promise it held out, the subscription it received was ridiculous. He spoke in particular of the work of the child guidance clinic and hinted that the work in this respect might soon be extended also to adults. It was a great thing that the Jewish community could take in hand delinquent children and save them from being lost to the community. It would be a greater thing still when they could do this work also for delinquents among adults.

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